A firearms sales spike and ammunition shortage before the election says a lot about fear in America.

America is on edge right now. The anxiety and dread of 2020’s pandemic and protests and presidential drama have consumed the country, and it has been reflected in our purchases. Retail therapy has turned into panic-buying, and many industries are experiencing product delays and shortages . Searches for “bug-out bags,” which are emergency survival kits, exploded in March. All of it is taking us by surprise. Our eyes are on the election, but also on our neighbors, on our social media feeds, and on our deteriorating sense of security, both emotional and physical. People are looking for something that will make them feel a little less helpless, and when people feel powerless in this country, many head to the gun shop. In America, old habits are hard to break. There’s no data on how many guns Americans buy in a typical year, but we do know there are more guns than people in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center survey , 73 percent of gun owners say they could never see themselves not owning a gun. In an election year, some people worry about gun laws changing in their area with a possible change in leadership. There were significant spikes in background check requests the week after Barack Obama won the 2008 election. A gun shop owner told CNN at the time that he had “… been in business for 12 years, and I was here for Y2K, September 11, Katrina … and we did notice […]

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